Building renovation in Upper Valais – VETA / NOVA

This project seeks to prevent the typical historic timber-framed buildings in the villages of Upper Valais from being left to decay for lack of use. More efficient planning processes and reduced conversion costs make it easier to revive them.


  • Lead school(s) School of Architecture, Wood and Civil Engineering
  • Institute Institute for Digital Construction and Wood Industry IDBH
    Institute for Timber Construction IHB
  • Duration (planned) 01.01.2019 - 31.12.2020
  • Project management Andreas Müller
  • Head of project Thomas Näher
  • Project staff Birgit Neubauer-Letsch
    Hanspeter Kolb
    Martin Geiser
    Christoph Geyer
  • Partner Arbeitsgemeinschaft «Dorfkernerneuerung Oberwallis»
    Fisolan AG
    Fermacell GmbH Schweiz
    Siga Cover AG
    Jomos Brandschutz AG
    Institute for Digital Economy in the Construction and Wood Industry IdBH, Management and Market Research


The research project aims to optimise the entire construction process for future renovations of historic buildings in the Upper Valais - this is done on two levels:

  • At the process level, the aim is to simplify and standardise the planning and approval processes in coordination with the municipalities and authorities.
  • At the technical level, the project team is developing standardised, validated model solutions that meet today's requirements for structural and energy efficiency, earthquake safety and fire protection. The solutions simplify the design and implementation of the conversion projects without compromising the construction and architectural quality.

Twelve regional companies from the architecture, carpentry, timber construction, planning, metal construction and plastering sectors have joined forces to form the ARGE Dorfkernerneuerung Oberwallis. The complementary four national partners Fisolan AG, Fermacell GmbH Switzerland, Siga Cover AG and Jomos Brandschutz AG ensure that the solutions developed are transferred beyond the borders of the Valais to other regions of Switzerland.

More safety and lower costs

The processes and model solutions developed in cooperation with the authorities lead to a high degree of planning and implementation reliability, to a 30 percent reduction in consulting costs, to at least 10 percent lower conversion costs per property, and ultimately to an increase in the number of completed projects. The adaptations to today's living standards make it possible to live in the village centres and contribute to the expansion of the project partners' business field of conversions/refurbishments. They will also have a positive impact on tourism, which is important for the Upper Valais, and other economic sectors.

"With the BFH, we can count on a competent and reliable research partner. The specialists on building in existing contexts bring the technical knowledge, and in cooperation with our regional partners this results in new solutions for the re-use of existing buildings."

Ulrich Wenger, Managing director and co-owner, Holzbau Weger AG

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